The sixth annual Bennelong Cup was held on Friday at Randwick Army Barracks, with corporate and community organizations competing for the trophy with some high-quality and entertaining Touch Football on display.

The initiative was developed by Gaven Sheehan from Bennelong Energy Services in 2018 as a way to link Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander school students and young people with employment and apprenticeship opportunities across a diverse range of industries.

The 2023 instalment of the event included 16 Touch Football teams, with each team’s jersey representing an influential Aboriginal warrior or community leader. The Souths Cares team had the honour of representing Pemulwuy who was an Aboriginal man of Eora descent, born around 1750 in Botany Bay.

The Pemulwuy/Souths Cares team was the youngest team competing on the day and was comprised of program participants from the Liverpool Opportunity Hub, Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big) Program and SEDA College. The team remained undefeated in the group stage, winning their three matches in convincing fashion.

In the Quarter finals, the Pemulwuy team came up against a red-hot Groves team. The Groves team had a little more experience and progressed through to the semi-finals before taking out the Bennelong Cup.

Rhys Wesser, Careers and Education Pathways Advisor at Souths Cares attended the event and was proud of how the team competed.

“For most of our students this was the first time they had played footy together. They quickly bonded as a team and were showing some promising signs throughout the group stages of the tournament.

It was a great effort from our young players who held their own against some older and more experienced teams”, Rhys said.

The Touch Football Tournament was followed by a corporate luncheon at Souths Juniors, with over 350 guests enjoying the entertainment which included a Welcome to Country from Aunty Barb Simms, traditional and contemporary dance performances by Brolga Dance Company, Keynote Speakers and Q&A’s with former NRL stars.

The corporate luncheon was a great opportunity to showcase the work of Souths Cares, as well as build partnerships with large-scale employers offering a host of traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities.

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